The Definitive Guide to Image SEO

Definitive guide to image SEO

30 Sep 2020 SEO

Introduction

Optimizing images is extremely crucial in terms of your website visibility. An optimized image can impact the number of visitors on your website. Because the search engine finds unique images compared to stock images.

However, optimizing images can be tricky if you have no firm knowledge of this field. The whole process comprises multiple steps. Image editing, renaming, background removing service using alt texts, image manipulation service, color correction services, etc are some of those.

If you need an in-depth guide to image SEO, continue with this article. Here I have brought every possible way of optimizing images more professionally and efficiently. Following these, you can have an effective result.

Rename Images

Well, this is a matter of carefulness. Many of us keep the name of the image as it is. We all know that cameras give a default name to every image. You cannot leave the image name untouched.

For example, the default name of an image is IMG_2020_0907_155946. If you keep the image in this name the search engine cannot recognize your site with this picture. The name should describe the subject and its activity in the picture.

On the other hand, if you have a picture with your dog and name the image dog.jpg it will work better than the previous one. To be more specific, you can describe the most apparent look or criterion of the dog in the image name. For instance, black dog.jpg, healthy dog.jpg, etc.

If you name images like this, as a result, your website will get more traffic.

Image Metadata

The additional information about something is known as metadata. Simply put, metadata means data about data. Images also should have metadata as a part of effective SEO. Photographers know about image metadata better than anyone. You must have seen in the image detail information like camera model, date, time, dimensions, et al.

Adding metadata to your image will increase the possibility of getting ranked. You can easily do this from image property details. From there, add title, comments, description, author, etc. However, the matter is quite debatable to what extent google care about metadata. Nevertheless, the top-listed SEO specialists are of the opinion that soon Google will take metadata into consideration.

Using Alt Text

When a visitor hovers the cursor over a photo, he might see a text popping up. The text we see popping on the photo is referred to as alt text or alt tag. If a visitor cannot load the image he will at least see the alt tag and can get basic information about the photo. The user can understand what the picture is about. You should simplify the image for the users to understand by adding alt tags.

The more complicated your images are, the more accurately you should put the wordings of alt tags. When putting alt tags, keep it concise and informative. If possible, keep the keyword on the alt tags.

Image URL

Well, this might seem a less important issue for you. However, image location on a site can play a big role in ranking as well. Say for example you are writing about the skyscrapers of New York City. Now create an index or directory called skyscrapers-of-new-york-city to keep all the images in.

Therefore, the reader and the search engine will easily understand the directory or URL. They can directly land on the URL location. When the visitor searches for an image using this keyword they will directly land on your website.

Image Loading Time and Size

Image size is a great factor in terms of the overall quality of your site. You should keep the image size as small as you can. Small images not only help load the site pages but also they take less space on your hosting. Loading time plays an important role in ranking. To make your site faster keep the image size as small as possible. You can use free online tools to make your images smaller.

Build Links for Images

Well, till now whatever we have discussed relates to on-page SEO. Now I will talk about off-page image SEO. If you want to rank your site using images then you have to build links. Building links for images is one of the most arduous jobs in SEO. However, you should do this because it works as a ranking factor.

Avoid Stock Photography

One of the characteristics of the search engine is that it traces the unique images. If your image is a unique one, this will be traced by the search engines. However, it will have no value if it is a stock image. Because search engines recognize unique photos rather than stock images.

Though stock images are useful for many purposes, you should use your own images throughout your website. As a result, you will see a rise in the number of visitors.

Using Responsive Images

Web traffic largely depends on the user interface (UI) of your website. To establish a user-friendly web design you have to ensure a flexible UI. That means the image will adapt to the size and the type of the screen. However, this flexibility will not compromise the quality and aesthetic of the photo.

You can achieve this by uploading responsive images on your website. They don’t have any set dimension and can adapt to screen type and size.

Add Captions

Many web users think captions are extremely important. Captions can help the user to get basic information about the image subject. Though alt tags tell what’s there in the image captions have their own place. Especially for infographics, you have to give captions with the image. Because infographics contain many texts. You cannot put everything in the alt tags, or title tags. So captions are handy in that case.

However, some users find it disturbing to read a long text as a caption. Try to keep that concise and informative.

Use the Best File Format

Generally, you will find three types of files online. These are JPEG, GIF, and PNG. If you notice there is a difference between file size. Because they use a different compression process. The whole process has an impact on the overall page load time.

As the same picture can vary in size because the file format uses the right format on your website. Usually, JPEG files have the smallest size without destroying the quality. As a result, you get a clear image with a small size that does not hinder page loading time. Using the right image format is also a crucial part of image SEO.

However, you have to know when to use which format. For illustration, screenshots, logos, and webcomics PNG is the best format. Otherwise, JPEG is the king of all image formats.

Add Images to Your Sitemap

If you add your images to your sitemap, it will greatly improve the condition of image SEO. Google will be able to crawl and index your images. In the end, it will result in more web traffic on your website. So, you should either add your images to the sitemap or create a completely new sitemap for your images. You can take an opportunity of using a Yoast sitemap solution if you use WordPress.

Allow Comments & Ratings on Your Images

You should allow your clients or searchers to be interactive with you. One of the ways to be interactive is to allow comments, ratings, or discussions about an image. If you allow your users to leave their reactions on the comment section using plugins you will get real feedback. Therefore you can improve where you should. Also, you can know what your customers are expecting from you. However, you should find the right approach to respond to your client’s feedback.

Save for Web

In Adobe Photoshop you have a command “Save for Web”. If you do so, you are allowing your users to explore the image better. This practice automatically reduces the size of the image. That means you don’t need to compress or resize the image. Photoshop will retain a decent looking PNG, JPEG, or GIF file. Moreover, this will delete unnecessary metadata of the image.

Extra Tips for Image SEO

Here is some quick guide to image SEO. You can use these to optimize your images to increase web traffic.

  • Add Keyword to Image Name: When you name your images, keep your keywords on the name. You cannot leave the image with the generic name.
  • Include Company Logo On The Image: You can create branding by doing this. Putting your company logo on the images is a good idea to promote your brand.
  • Include Text: Include text on the blog to give the image a context.
  • Upload Relevant Image: Upload images that represent your blog articles. Images of your website should be relevant to your website service, context, or genre. The image and the text on the blog should be reciprocal. Both should complement each other.
  • Avoid:
    • Over-optimizing
    • Stuffing keyword
    • Uploading over-sized images
    • Putting too many tags

That’s All About Image SEO

Certainly, images are one of the most important aspects when you create a website. You can utilize the images in favor of your company’s growth. If you can implement image SEO efficiently, it can help you grow your business. The better the image SEO, the more traffic on your website. The more traffic, the better business. A perfect implementation of image SEO can increase the value of your site, generate income, and overall image of your business as well. The tips I have discussed here will work as a definitive guide to image SEO. Wishing you success in this.

Tasnim Mahzabin is the head of content here at SEO Audit Agency. Her speciality is creating SEO friendly content for various brands & helping them increase their search engine visibility. With the right tone, voice & style aligned with in-depth research on the topics, she crafts such masterpieces that perfectly match with the end-users business goals.

Check out her newest blogs here.

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